Ongoing App Maintenance. Is It Worth It?
Written by Robert Ludwig
Ongoing App maintenance ensures you’re getting the data you need from your app, and staying up to date with the latest security, operating system and device updates.
Many people think the process of app development ends once you ship the app. In reality, that’s just the beginning of the app’s real life cycle. Once your app is in the hands of actual users, you start to to see how it’s used (and misused) in the real world.
As Sara explained in an earlier blog post, software is never really done. When you’re not in active development, you should be in app maintenance. Leaving your app unattended in the wild, while your company focuses on other projects is a fools game.
Is app maintenance worth it? You bet it is. Let’s start with just three reasons why.
App Maintenance Benefit #1: Data for Decision Making
Data is the lifeblood of modern, analytics-driven businesses. While your app is in the field, it’s generating some of the most valuable data you can find, such as real-world usage data and crash reports.
Usage data gives you insight into how real users are interacting with the app. It lets you understand how users are spending their time in your app, and what features they are (or are not) using.
When you’ve invested in app development, these analytics let you ensure you’re getting the best return by showing exactly how your processes have improved. And, when you’re planning the next round of development, these analytics help determine what features you should focus on.
App Maintenance Benefit #2: Performance Monitoring
As part of our ongoing maintenance package, we’ll set up a real-time dashboard to give our team a complete view of user engagement with your app. We’ll integrate tools like Crashlytics and Fabric, that allow us to generate reports and monitor how users interact with your app.
Additionally, Crashlytics let you see when your app fails to meet your goals, either from unexpected user behavior or issues in the code. If the app crashes, we can see the cause and area of the app that triggered it.
Without this information you have no idea how your app is performing in the real world.
App Maintenance Benefit #3: Staying Current
Working in the world of mobile app development, I appreciate the new features that are added as iOS and Android evolve. But, for me, the biggest benefits are improved performance and security.
About once a year Google and Apple release new major versions of their operating system. If you have an iPhone you’ll see an indicator asking you to update to iOS 11, for example. If your app is not compatible with the latest version of Android and iOS when your users update their device, it could cause features in your app to “break”.
This is more common than you’d think. When you sign up for ongoing app maintenance, we proactively test your app against the latest versions of iOS and Android and make any needed updates before your users are impacted.
For performance enthusiasts, that means making sure things are well-tuned for new operating system. For the security-minded, that means helping you integrate the latest fixes and best practices.
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